Orchard School fourth graders are grateful for their new water bottles from Seventh Generation.

The Power of Persuasive Writing

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Thursday June 11, 2015

South Burlington’s middle and elementary schools were recently awarded a grant through the Chittenden Solid Waste District to install new water fountains and bottle filling stations. As part of the grant, students were asked to be involved in the project.

At Orchard School, students in first and fourth grade put pen to paper to teach others about the benefits of installing the hydration stations. Students wrote that it reduced the school’s environmental waste, as well as helped students stay hydrated and healthy. The school also needed to raise the last 25 percent of the cost to have the stations installed. Erin Bahrenburg’s fourth grade class wrote persuasive essays to the Orchard community about the benefits of getting the stations and why they should participate in the Coin War Fundraiser they had organized.

One of these essays was attached to the weekly school newsletter, where it was read by Amy Van Mullen, a parent at Orchard School who works at Seventh Generation. Van Mullen, moved by the students’ mission, asked Seventh Generation if they could donate water bottles to the students and staff at Orchard School. They agreed and, in so doing, will help the school reach their goal of reducing plastic waste by 90 percent. Seventh Generation let the essay’s author, Molly Cota, age nine; pick the color of the water bottles. Bahrenburg noted, “It was a great example of how persuasive writing can have a positive impact on many lives.”

The Coin War Fundraiser brought in over $1,000 to raise the needed funds to install the water bottle stations. The school thanks the Chittenden Solid Waste District and Seventh Generation for their support in reducing the waste in South Burlington and making it a healthier place to learn.